SB 184                                           First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to impeding, threatening, or harassing
    3         first responders; creating s. 843.31, F.S.; providing
    4         definitions; prohibiting a person, after receiving a
    5         warning not to approach from a first responder who is
    6         engaged in the lawful performance of a legal duty,
    7         from violating such warning and approaching or
    8         remaining within a specified distance of the first
    9         responder with specified intent; providing criminal
   10         penalties; providing an effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 843.31, Florida Statutes, is created to
   15  read:
   16         843.31 Approaching a first responder with specified intent
   17  after a warning.—
   18         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   19         (a) “First responder” includes a law enforcement officer as
   20  defined in s. 943.10(1), a correctional probation officer as
   21  defined in s. 943.10(3), a firefighter as defined in s.
   22  784.07(1), and an emergency medical care provider as defined in
   23  s. 784.07(1).
   24         (b) “Harass” means to willfully engage in a course of
   25  conduct directed at a first responder which intentionally causes
   26  substantial emotional distress in that first responder and
   27  serves no legitimate purpose.
   28         (2)(a) It is unlawful for a person, after receiving a
   29  verbal warning not to approach from a person he or she knows or
   30  reasonably should know is a first responder, who is engaged in
   31  the lawful performance of a legal duty, to knowingly and
   32  willfully violate such warning and approach or remain within 25
   33  feet of the first responder with the intent to:
   34         1. Impede or interfere with the first responder’s ability
   35  to perform such duty;
   36         2. Threaten the first responder with physical harm; or
   37         3. Harass the first responder.
   38         (b) A person who violates this subsection commits a
   39  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
   40  775.082 or s. 775.083.
   41         Section 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2025.